Janet Street-Porter has proved she’s going to be one to watch in the new primetime series of Celebrity MasterChef. Not only can she cook a bit, she’s ferociously competitive and doesn’t give a tossed salad about presentation – or what John Torode and Gregg Wallace have to say…
Marching up to the MasterChef judges on last night’s opening show with a dish that looked like it had enjoyed a good swim around the kitchen sink before being plonked in the bowl, Janet growled, “I can’t see what’s wrong with the way I’ve served it. You’re trying to make me serve it like I’m working in a restaurant and I categorically can’t do that. I’m serving it like you would at home.”
Turning on her competitors, Janet joked, “So yeah, they’ve done it like you because they’ve crawled up to you.”
John and Gregg had a good chuckle because, of course, Celebrity Masterchef isn’t quite as serious as MasterChef.
Former Sugababes star Heidi Range managed to get away with putting the wrong meat in a blind taste test dish, with John and Gregg gushing like a couple of school boys that she was splendid anyway because she’d managed to work out that it was coated in a five spice rub. Heidi had literally tried all of the spices on her bench until she found one that sort of tasted the same, but, er, OK.
Those Michelin stars will just roll in.
Janet’s presentation had already had another beating from Gregg, after she filled an empty crab shell with salad rather than the cooked meat (so many rules…).
“Yeah you complaining or stating?” Janet spat at Gregg, before adding, “Well we’ll have to agree to differ on that.”
Gregg later admitted, “She’s ferocious.”
Janet’s carefree attitude continued into the professional kitchen, which saw the four contestants – Janet, Heidi, Katy Brand and Jo Wood – serve around 100 Cirque du Soleil performers.
Mid-service, as Janet had abandoned her fruit crumble to quickly throw together a vegetable stew, Gregg casually asks, “Will you get it done?” to which Janet fumed, “I don’t know Gregg, do I?!”
Even when Gregg tried to be nice – in many ways taking his life into his own hands by hugging a knife-wielding Janet – she still wasn’t impressed, responding: “Oh my god, Gregg’s being nice to me, I don’t know how to handle that.”
But it wasn’t just Gregg getting a dressing down from Janet. “Oh god you’re here” sang out Ms Street-Porter when John walked into the professional kitchen to enquire about her crumble. He even tried a compliment, telling Janet her dish needed to be elegant like her, which frankly went down like a salad in a crab shell.
A sneak peek from tonight’s episode caught Janet blowing the steam out of a head chef yelling, “OH, I’M DOING IT, I’M DOING IT”.
We’ll be ready on the sofa in our ‘Team Janet’ t-shirts.